China’s Trip.com saw first quarter earnings sink by 42%, despite a strong January before the Covid-19 pandemic started to disrupt global travel.
The first three weeks of January saw double-digit growth in hotel bookings before the market tanked.
Trip.com is warning the second quarter will be much worse, forecasting a decline in revenue by up to 77%.
Chief financial officer Cindy Xiaofan Wang said international bookings for the second quarter will likely be close to zero due to global travel restrictions.
In China itself, the company, formerly known as Ctrip, says the market is improving and is at about 70% of normal levels for the time of year.
However it will impact revenues as the domestic recovery is only happening because of deep discounting.
“To date, reservations for short-haul travel products, such as hotels within same provinces and same cities, attraction tickets and car rental services, are approaching a full recovery,” said Trip.com group CEO Jane Sun.
According to travel industry analytics firm ForwardKeys, domestic air travel bookings are about 50% of levels seen this time last year.